Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law
Professor of History
Ph.D., Princeton University, 2003
J.D., Yale Law School, 2000
M.A., Princeton University, 1999
A.B., Harvard University, 1994
Risa Goluboff is the 12th, and the first female, dean of the School of Law. She is a nationally renowned legal historian whose scholarship and teaching focuses on American constitutional and civil rights law, and especially their historical development in the 20th century.
In addition to numerous shorter works, Goluboff is the author of two books. Her first book, The Lost Promise of Civil Rights (Harvard, 2007), won the 2010 Order of the Coif Biennial Book Award and the 2008 James Willard Hurst Prize. Her second book, Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s (Oxford, 2016) was supported by a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Constitutional Studies and a 2012 Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Goluboff is also co-editor (with Myriam Gilles) of Civil Rights Stories (Foundation Press, 2008).
In 2008, Goluboff received the Law School’s Carl McFarland Award for excellence in faculty scholarship, and in 2011 the University of Virginia's All-University Teaching Award. She is an affiliated GAGE scholar at the Miller Center and a faculty affiliate at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. In 2012, Goluboff was named a distinguished lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. Between 2011 and 2016, she directed the University’s JD-MA in History Dual Degree Program. Goluboff has served as a visiting professor at Columbia, Chicago and New York University law schools.
Prior to joining the Law School in 2002, Goluboff clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Goluboff's "Vagrant Nation" Uncovers Rapid Revolution in Nation's Laws, Police Power
Scholarship Profile: A Legal Historian Committed to Contemporary Social Justice (Virginia Journal 2007)
Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016).
Civil Rights Stories (editor with Myriam Gilles) (Foundation Press, 2008).
The Lost Promise of Civil Rights (Harvard University Press, 2007).
Articles and Book Chapters:
“Panel Discussion on Saving the Neighborhood: Part II,” 56 Ariz. L. Rev. Syllabus 29 (2014).
"Lawyers, Law, and the New Civil Rights History," 126 Harv. L. Rev. 2312 (2013) (reviewing Kenneth W. Mack, Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer (2012)).
"Dispatch from the Supreme Court Archives: Vagrancy, Abortion, and What the Links Between Them Reveal About the History of Fundamental Rights," 62 Stan. L. Rev. 1361 (2010).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"The Thirteenth Amendment and a New Deal for Civil Rights," in Alexander Tsesis, ed., The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment 119 (Columbia University Press, 2010)
"The Department of Justice and the Thirteenth Amendment," in Alexander Tsessis, ed.,The Promises of Liberty: Thirteenth Amendment Abolitionism (Columbia University Press, 2010).
The Lost Promise of Civil Rights, Historically Speaking, vol. VIII (2007).
Book Review, 27 Law & Hist. Rev. 222 (2009) (reviewing Nancy MacLean, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace (2006)).
“Civil Rights History Before, and Beyond, Brown,” in Why the Local Matters: Federalism, Localism, and Public Interest Advocacy 11 (Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School and the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, 2009).
“The Thirteenth Amendment in Historical Perspective,” 11 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 1451 (2009).
"NAACP," "Peonage," "Workers' Defense League," in Eric Arnesen, ed., Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-Class History (Routledge,1st ed. 2007, 2d ed. 2008).
"Brown v. Board of Education and the Lost Promise of Civil Rights," in Myriam Gilles and Risa Goluboff, eds., Civil Rights Stories 25 (Foundation Press, 2008).
“Peonage,” in David S. Tanenhaus, ed., Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Macmillan, 2008).
“Race, Labor and the Thirteenth Amendment in the 1940s Department of Justice,” 38 U. Tol. L. Rev. 883 (2007).
"Deaths Greatly Exaggerated," 24 Law & Hist. Rev. 201 (2006).
"'Let Economic Equality Take Care of Itself': The NAACP, Labor Litigation, and the Making of Civil Rights in the 1940s," 52 UCLA L. Rev. 1393 (2005).
"The Unusual Journey of Vernon Lawhorn, Sam Austin, and the Green Brothers: Reverse Migration, Agricultural Work, and Rights Consciousness in World War II," in Eric Arnesen, ed., The Human Tradition in Labor History (SR Books, 2003).
"'We Live's in a Free House Such as It Is': Class and the Creation of Modern Civil Rights," 151 U. Penn. L. Rev. 1977 (2003).
"A Road Not Taken: The Thirteenth Amendment and the Lost Origins of Civil Rights," 50 Duke L.J. 1609 (2001), reprinted in Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook (Steven Saltzman ed. 2002).
"Won't You Please Help Me Get My Son Home?: Peonage, Patronage, and Protest in the World War II Urban South," 24 Law & Soc. Inquiry 777 (1999).
"The Historian as Peace Broker in the Legal Academy's Culture Wars: The Lessons of Sea Island Civil Rights for a Theory of Legal Instrumentalism," 5 J. S. Legal Hist. 33 (1997).
Book Note, "Reckoning with Race and Criminal Justice" (reviewing Jerome G. Miller, Search and Destroy: African-American Males in the Criminal Justice System), 106 Yale L.J. 2299 (1997).
- Civil Rights History From Plessy to Brown
- Civil Rights Litigation
- Constitutional Law
- Equality and the Law
- Poverty and the Constitution
- Seminar in Ethical Values
In the Media
- "'Poetic Justice:' First Black UVA Student Celebrated" (C'ville, 07/19/2016)
- "2016 Fastcase 50" (Fastcase 50, 07/14/2016)
- "Swanson's UVa Case, 'a Triumph of the Rule of Law,' is Commemorated at Library" (The Daily Progress, 07/12/2016)
- "Gregory Swanson Honored With Historical Marker in Charlottesville" (NBC29, 07/12/2016)
- "UVA's First Woman Dean on Work/Life Balance in Education" (Bloomberg, 07/07/2016)
- "UVA Law’s First Female Dean" (WINA, 07/01/2016)
- "History in the Making: Risa Goluboff, UVA Law's First Female Dean, Takes Office" (UVA Today, 07/01/2016)
- "Hamilton: A History" (BackStory, 06/10/2016)
- "'Vagrant Nation' Explores the Rise and Fall of Vagrancy Laws (Podcast)" (ABA Journal, 05/11/2016)
- "Before Black Lives Matter" (Slate, 03/02/2016)
- "Risa Goluboff Appears on American Forum" (The Cavalier Daily, 02/24/2016)
- "It Took 20 Years to Shoot Down Vagrancy Laws. Then We Got Stop-and-Frisk" (Salon, 02/15/2016)
- "BackStory's Top 5 Trials of the Century" (BackStory, 02/04/2016)
- "The Forgotten Law That Gave Police Nearly Unlimited Power" (Time, 02/01/2016)
- "Court of Public Opinion" (BackStory, 01/29/2016)
- "Affirmative Action Returns to SCOTUS" (Slate, 11/30/2015)
- "UVA Names Its First Woman Law Dean" (National Law Journal, 11/23/2015)
- "Provost Appoints First Female Dean of UVA Law School" (The Cavalier Daily, 11/22/2015)
- "The Federal Judiciary: From Idea to Institution" (Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, 11/05/2015)
- "States Renew Fight to Stop Same-Sex Marriage" (The New York Times, 01/28/2015)
- "Fair Wages: A History of Getting Paid" (BackStory, 03/28/2014)
- "Dreading Finals? Profs Share Exam Tips" (Tipping the Scales, 12/05/2013)
- "Court Panel Overturns Dismissal of Charlottesville Panhandling Suit" (The Daily Progress, 02/21/2013)
- "The Creation of the NAACP" (PBS, 02/12/2012)
- "New Systems of Exploitation" (PBS, 02/12/2012)
- "A Fraudulent Case" (Slate, 10/20/2011)
- "UVA Profs: Sotomayor Faces Smooth Confirmation" (The Hook, 05/26/2009)
- "Guggenheim Fellowship Awards for the United States and Canada, 2009" (John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 04/09/2009)
- "The Battle Over Brown/How Conservatives Appropriated Brown v. Board of Education" (author) (Slate, 07/02/2007)
- "Commentary: The Real World/Why Judicial Philosophies Matter" (co-author) (Slate, 09/07/2005)
- "Civil Rights Cases Rarely Get to Court" (The Cincinnati Enquirer, 01/12/2005)